This presentation skills planning worksheet is designed to help you add structure and style to your presentation.

It can be used as part of presentation skills training or on its own.

Print it out.  Then complete the statements or answer the questions shown.

If you have difficulty formulating your responses, it is likely that you are not clear about the purpose of your talk.

For additional information about presentation skills courses and workshops for your group, please contact us.  

1. What do I want my audience to do with the information?

_Take action _____________________________

_Get others to take action__________________________

_Be aware 

2. My audience is mostly:

_Senior executives (I should remember to keep things at a high level.)

_Subject matter experts (I can go into more detail.)

_Laymen (I must remember to define every abbreviation and spend more time putting my presentation in context.)

_Mixed (I should point out that the audience is mixed. I should take the time to put the presentation in context. I should define terms and keep information at a relatively high level. I should have backup slides to address concerns of subject matter experts. I should pre-call the fact that the audience is mixed.) 

 3. What I am presenting should be:

_Accepted by the audience

_Rejected by the audience


4. I will use the following introduction tactic to engage my audience:

_I will ask questions.

_I will tell a story.

_I will show a picture or video.

_I will share a statistic.

_I will share a quote.

 My second choice for an introduction is ______________________________________ I will use this if for some reason I believe that my first choice is no longer appropriate. 

5. The main points of my presentation are:




6. I will connect my points with the following language:

Intro to One: _____________________________________________________________

One to Two: _____________________________________________________________

Two to Three: ____________________________________________________________

Three to Conclusion: ______________________________________________________

7. To keep things visually interesting during my presentation, I will use the following pictures, videos, and graphics to enhance what I am saying.


_Picture _________________________________

_Video __________________________________

_Drawing ________________________________

_Other __________________________________


Point One

_Picture _________________________________

_Video __________________________________

_Drawing ________________________________

_Other __________________________________


Point Two

_Picture _________________________________

_Video __________________________________

_Drawing ________________________________

_Other __________________________________


Point Three

_Picture _________________________________

_Video __________________________________

_Drawing ________________________________

_Other __________________________________



_Picture _________________________________

_Video __________________________________

_Drawing ________________________________

_Other __________________________________

8. To engage my audience, I could ask the following questions during my presentation:

Intro: _________________________________________________________

Point One: _____________________________________________________

 Point Two: ____________________________________________________

 Point Three: ___________________________________________________

Conclusion: ___________________________________________________

9. My audience might ask me the following questions during my presentation:

Point One:



Point Two:



Point Three:





My audience analysis:

_ I know the organizational level of my audience.

_ I know the extent to which my audience will agree with me.

_ I know the knowledge level of my audience.

_ I know how much time they expect me to talk.

My content:

_ I know my introduction and my backup introduction by heart. I require no notes to deliver this information.

_ I have identified 30% of my presentation that I could skip or move quickly through if required at the last minute.

_ I can deliver my presentation without the aid of electronic devices (computer and PowerPoint) if absolutely necessary.

_ I have designed questions around my points that I can ask the audience.

_ I have thought about questions that might come from the audience during my presentation.

_ I have memorized my transitions between the points of my presentation and can deliver these transitional statements or questions without notes.

_ I know my conclusion by heart. It summarizes what I have said and communicates to the audience what I expect them to do with the information. I require no notes to deliver this part of my presentation.

My slides:

_ I have followed the organization’s template.

_ I have included no more than six lines per slide and six words per line (on average).

_ I have used animation to build points rather than showing all the information at once (if appropriate).

_ I have used consistent transitions between slides.

_ I have included pictures to illustrate or complement my points.

_ I have created slides that are easy to read from the worst seat in the room.

_ I have designed slides that contain the appropriate amount of information for the points I am trying to make (not too much, not too little).

_ I have used consistent sentence structure (for example, all of my bullet points on slide four start with a verb).

_ I have used consistent capitalization.

_ I have used pleasing color combinations.

My delivery:

_ I do not apologize for anything unless something truly unusual occurs during my presentation.

_ I am prepared to advance my own slides or have identified someone to do it for me.

_ I plant myself and begin my presentation when I am ready. I do not look rushed.

_ I speak clearly.

_ I vary my voice tone and volume, depending on what I am saying.

_ I make eye contact with everyone, not just a select few.

_ I avoid filler words such as you know, um, like, etc.

_ I do not read from my slides or turn my back to my audience and talk to my screen.

_ I do not fidget or pace. Rather, I effectively use all of my space.

_ I keep nothing in my hands unless I am actively using a tool such as a notecard when I am reading or a pen when I am drawing.

_ I keep my hands out of my pockets.

_ If my audience starts to lose interest in what I am saying, I walk toward them, ask a question, or take some other action to re-engage them in my topic.

_ I start and finish on time when those choices are within my control.

Special situations:

_ I explain possible problems before they occur. For example, Today I am going to be addressing our new attendance policy. The purpose of my presentation is to explain our new attendance card system; it is not to debate the pluses and minuses of the policy. If you have questions related to that topic during our time together, I will ask you to hold them until we can schedule a meeting with the people who can address your concerns.

_ I explain a time problem. For example, At the request of the CEO, I have shortened my program to 15 minutes. If there is a section that you would like to view in more detail, we can schedule time together after this meeting.

_ I explain the existence of a mixed audience. For example, We have a wide range of interest and expertise in the room today. This presentation is designed to provide an overview of the process. For many of you, this may be a review. For others, this will be entirely new. If the questions become too technical, I will request that we address them off-line.


_ I have done my homework on my audience, their views, and my topic.

_ I have tailored my presentation to the appropriate level.

_ I have practiced my presentation.

_ I have anticipated questions and, where appropriate, I have slides prepared to answer those questions.